COVID-19 Vaccines and People with Epilepsy

Vaccine information available in translation


Updated: 21 February 2022

Vaccines against COVID-19 are now available. We recommend that people with epilepsy should receive a COVID-19 vaccine if offered; this includes booster doses. For people with epilepsy, the risk of COVID-19 infection and potential complications far outweighs the risk of possible side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that having epilepsy is specifically associated with a higher risk of side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine including seizures. As with other vaccines, a fever can develop after a COVID-19 vaccination. Fever could increase the chance of having a seizure in some people. Antipyretics (e.g. paracetamol/acetaminophen) taken regularly for 48 hours after the vaccination (or for the duration of fever) will minimize this risk.

Before you receive a COVID-19 vaccine, make sure to let your vaccination provider know that you have epilepsy or any other chronic disorders, as well as any other important medical information, such as:

  • Allergies, especially an allergy within to any ingredient in the vaccine
  • Allergic reactions to prior vaccines (e.g. flu vaccine)
  • Current or recent (the last week) fever or infection
  • Any other serious illnesses, especially malignancies requiring chemotherapy
  • All medications you are taking, especially medications that suppress the immune system (e.g. immunomodulatory or immunosuppressive medicines) or anticoagulants.
  • If you are pregnant or nursing, or plan to become pregnant

As with any vaccine, you should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. You should not receive a further dose if you had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose.

The vaccine has been shown to be safe in pregnancy, and is important to protect mother and baby.

If you already received the COVID-19 vaccine, it is important to continue to follow public health guidance as advised by your local authorities which may include wearing a mask and social distancing. The current vaccines reduce your risk of getting sick from COVID-19 by up to 90%, depending on the vaccine, but vaccinated people may still spread COVID-19 to others without knowing they are carrying it.

More information

COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A (Epilepsy Foundation)

COVID-19 Vaccination (Epilepsy Foundation)

Epilepsy Society’s Medical Director reassures people with epilepsy over Covid-19 vaccine (Epilepsy Society UK)

COVID-19 Vaccine and Epilepsy (Living Well with Epilepsy)

COVID-19 advice for the public: Getting vaccinated (World Health Organization)